Models in the Cloud is a new research project to exploit cloud computing infrastructure to run environmental models, funded in the UK by EPSRC. Computation in the cloud is in its infancy and running scientific code is error prone. The project unites experts in cloud computing, hydrology and climate modelling, and model driven engineering with ultimate goal of creating a system that would allow anyone to run modelling experiments without the need for their own supercomputer.

The project is led from Lancaster University, but draws in develops and users of environmental models (NCAR’s CESM, the UKESM project, CEH, JBA) and cloud expertise to generalise beyond environmental models (EBTIC).

How will we make running environmental models in the cloud a reality?

Refer to image above: The plan is to (1) capture the description of what environmental scientist want to simulate in (2) the language they use (“domain specific language”) using a software development methodology called model driven engineering. This step then (3) sets up the model simulations(s) as power the scientist’s requirements. The next step (4) is the software engineering as the Paas level (“Platform as a service” – allows users to run, develop and manage their apps), which (5) manages the execution of the software in the cloud environment.